Big news — Microsoft Teams will now be completely separate from the rest of Office

Microsoft Teams
(Image credit: Shutterstock / monticello)

Big changes could be coming to your workplace office software after Microsoft confirmed its decision to remove Teams from its Office bundle globally in a move aimed at addressing antitrust concerns.

A report from Reuters says the decision comes a few months after the company detached Microsoft Teams from Office in Europe, following pressure from antitrust investigations brought on by the European Commission.

The European investigation, announced in July 2023, was a direct response to Slack’s complaint alleging that Microsoft illegally tied Teams to its dominant productivity suites.

Microsoft will now sell Teams separately, globally

First introduced to Office 365 in 2017 as a replacement for Skype, Microsoft Teams gained traction during the pandemic, with remote workers becoming increasingly reliant on video conferencing serices to stay in touch with colleagues, offering more business-centric features, much like Zoom, which also saw interest peak as a result of the pandemic.

Redmond unbundled Microsoft Teams from its Office 365 subscription in late 2023 across Europe and Switzerland, but the initiative has now expanded globally.

Reuters claims Microsoft believes the move will help provide clarity and flexibility for customers who seek standardized purchasing across different regions, however with Microsoft under the watchful eye of antitrust regulators globally, it could also be a move to prevent similar future investigations.

The change, effective from April 1 2024, will see Office priced at between $7.75 and $54.75 for new customers. Teams will be sold as a standalone for an additional $5.25.

Microsoft has already paid out $2.4 billion in fines in the past decade in the EU alone for bundling products together, and if found guilty of wrongfully packaging Teams into the rest of Office, it could face yet another fine, accounting for up to 10% of its global annual turnover.

Microsoft confirmed the changes in a blog post. A company spokesperson added in an email to TechRadar Pro:

"To ensure clarity for our customers, we are extending the steps we took last year to unbundle Teams from M365 and O365 in the European Economic Area and Switzerland to customers globally. Doing so also addresses feedback from the European Commission by providing multinational companies more flexibility when they want to standardize their purchasing across geographies."

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!